Vodka Lemon Sorbet Recipe

Vodka lemon sorbet served in bowls

The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Freeze: 45 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 5 servings
Yield: 4 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
95 Calories
0g Fat
14g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5
Amount per serving
Calories 95
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 9mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 77mg 385%
Calcium 41mg 3%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 199mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Sorbets are a great way to cool down in the summer. This particular sorbet has a zesty lemon flavor and is spiked with vodka, so it is even more interesting. While they are more time-consuming than blended drinks, they are worth every minute of your time. Serve it as a light, chilled dessert for brunch or lunch, or enjoy its fabulous palate cleanser capability between courses at a dinner party.

A premium brand of vodka will simply taste much better in this sorbet. This recipe is from Blue Ice American Vodka, and it is an excellent option.

For the flavor, lemon zest is infused into a simple syrup, then freshly squeezed lemon juice and vodka are added and the sorbet is frozen. If you have an ice cream freezer, you can use it to make the sorbet. If not, you will see the alternative instructions for making it in your freezer, with the help of a food processor or blender.


For Lemon Syrup:

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 3 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, from about 1 lemon

For the Sorbet:

Steps to Make It

Make the Lemon Syrup

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make lemon syrup

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

    sugar dissolving in water in a saucepan

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  3. Add the lemon zest and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool completely.

    lemon simple syrup in saucepan

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  4. Place a fine strainer over a large bowl and pour the syrup mixture through to strain out any zest. Let cool completely before making the sorbet.

    strained lemon syrup in a bowl

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

Make the Sorbet

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make vodka lemon sorbet

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  2. Add the vodka and lemon juice to the strained syrup mixture. Stir until thoroughly blended.

    vodka lemon sorbet mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  3. Transfer the mixture to the ice cream maker, then freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

    vodka lemon sorbet mixture in a freezer-proof container

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  4. Scoop or pour the vodka lemon sorbet into chilled cocktail glasses. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

    Vodka lemon sorbet served in glasses

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck


  • No ice cream maker? Pour the mixture into a container, cover it, and place it in the freezer. When it is semi-solid, mash it up with a fork and refreeze it again. Once frozen, place it in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Cover and refreeze until ready to serve.
  • You will need the zest from the lemon to give the sorbet the best lemon flavor. A fine grater or a zester works best. If you don't have one of those tools, you could use a vegetable peeler to get strips of zest, then use a chef's knife to finely mince it.
  • You will get more lemon juice from a lemon if it is at room temperature before squeezing.

Recipe Variations

  • Ramp up the flavor with a citrus vodka rather than an unflavored one. Most citrus vodkas are blends of fruits though you will find options with lemon, orange, and grapefruit alone. Any are good options for the sorbet.
  • Use 1 cup of limoncello and make 2 cups of plain syrup (1 cup sugar and 2 cups of water) as a substitute for the lemon syrup. Make the unflavored syrup, then add the limoncello with the vodka. You may have to freeze the sorbet longer due to the extra alcohol, though this will depend on the strength of your limoncello.
  • Alternatively, drizzle limoncello on top of the sorbet when garnishing.

How Strong Is a Vodka Lemon Sorbet?

The sorbet is going to be very light on the alcohol. When made with 80-proof vodka, it should fall somewhere around 5 percent ABV (10 proof). That's similar to a beer, but the sorbet is far more delicious!

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